Operating on as a yearly affair, M1 PeerPleasure Youth Theatre Festival aims to provide a comfortable space for the youth to express themselves creatively, as well as to voice out their opinions. This year, the theme “Home”, challenges the audience to view home not merely as an entity that protects us from danger but is instead endangered by an array of factors from within and out.
The first play titled, “Housing Games” is an original piece performed by CHIJ Katong Convent. It is a satire set 50 years into the future in Singapore where the space and resources are scarcer than ever; so much so that residents have to contest for their houses through a reality television competition. It does not take a keen eye to note that all the contestants were either foreigners or from the lower-income bracket, which could be inferred as a form of xenophobia and possibly, corruption. The lighthearted performance points out the injustice prevalent in the Singapore society today, be it in Singapore’s general treatment of foreigners and migrant workers, or the struggles of lower-income earners in Singapore.
The second play titled, “Sundays” is created single-handedly by the students taking Applied Drama and Psychology in Singapore Polytechnic. This piece strikes a chord in one’s heart since it hits closer to home. Amidst the societal pressures like the failing construct of marriage and the overwhelming pressures to stay afloat in a competitive society like Singapore, “Sundays” delves into the struggles and pain that families go through today. By juxtaposing two families against each other, a single mom who struggles to provide for her two children and a couple who neglects their child due to the competing demands of work, one can definitely draw the differences between both families when it comes to financial difficulties or the lack there of. Regardless, both families struggle to demonstrate and understand their love for one another, contributing to the tension and conflict in the family.
The third play, titled “Body of Land”, is a piece created by SOTA. The play understands that a connection to a fiscal space forms an integral part of any nation’s identity and delves into Singapore’s eroding identity due to the wave of modernization. The play questions the need for such developments since they come at a great cost of losing precious elements of nature which are integral to our cultural identity. SOTA provided the audience with a fresh perspective with the eyes of the animals, fauna and humans, leaving viewers with questions to mull over after the play.
What do we now call home given all that we have lost? Have we failed to protect our home?
by Tay Jia Eenn